The Gifted has a fairly strong start, wasting no time introducing relatable characters and building a new world.
Creator: Matt Nix
Summary: In a world where mutated humans are treated with distrust and fear, an institute for mutants battles to achieve peaceful co-existence with humanity.
The X-Men movies have been telling roughly the same story since the first one. There have been a few variations, but it usually comes down to an oddball costumed bunch fighting someone who is trying to kill all mutants (or the entire world). It’s not a bad story, but it is getting a little old — which is why Legion was such a lovely change of pace. It’s also why the next three movies sound so interesting, because they all sound so different.
The Gifted is a new X-Men show looking at the world of mutants not from an oddball costumed bunch but really leaning in on mutants just looking to survive. It’s an interesting angle, and it’s one that The Gifted manages to capture fairly well.
Our story revolves around a normal family of four whose lives are turned upside down when the parents realize both of their kids are mutants. We also learn about a mutant underground being run by a few familiar mutant faces, but mostly unknown to anyone who hasn’t read a comic.
It’s an interesting way to approach storytelling when you’re most known character is probably Blink (Jamie Chung). It means that no one is here to steal the spotlight and the focus becomes very inwardly focused on the characters. You learn and care about these people almost right away, and the show does a decent job of showing, not telling. When it does do an exposition dump, it’s little things like a debate over mutant rights in a social studies class and learning that mutants have their own slang term.
What might not sit well with some viewers is the father Reed Strucker (Stephen Moyer). While the rest of the family is sympathetic, Reed’s storyline is supposed to be the one that makes the most extreme switch. He used to be a prosecutor of mutants until he finds out his kids are one. While that kind of contrivance will make him caring seem paper thin, that’s sort of the point. Reed only cares because his own kids are involved, but judging by the end of the episode, he’s about to get a real wake up call for how bad it really is for the mutants he’s locked away.
The Gifted hits the ground running and wastes almost none of its run time before the action gets going. The special effects are pretty good for TV, the characters are all pretty interesting, and it presents an interesting mystery of what events caused the world to end up this way. If you’re looking for something a little different in your superhero television shows, it’s worth a look.
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